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Meet Pierre Omidyar! A handy primer for new First Look hires

Early last week, Ken Silverstein — former Harpers editor and co-founder with Alexander Cockburn of Counterpunch — quit Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media, citing management incompetence. By the end of the week, he went a step further, publishing a searing takedown of First Look on Politico. [A]t First Look, we were never able to be fearless. We [...]

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Read all 13 recaps from our sleepless House of Cards marathon

Netflix just flipped the switch on Season Three of House of Cards, and with a pot of coffee brewing and a freezer full of popsicles (nothing but the coldest snacks for the coldest show on television) I’m staying up all night to watch it. Follow all the outrageous political machinations here (and on my Twitter feed) as I recap each [...]

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Courts deem CallFire a common carrier, setting a major precedent at intersection of telecom and tech law

CallFire scored a legal victory today that could have significant downstream implications for the broader technology and telecom industries. In the case Rinky Dink, Inc. vs. Electronic Merchant Systems, heard in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington, two plaintiffs claimed that CallFire had violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the [...]

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Facebook now allows its users, not a drop-down menu, to define their genders

Facebook might not allow drag queens or Native Americans to use their real names on its service, but it looks like the company isn’t totally insensitive to its users’ various cultures. The company revealed yesterday that it will no longer define genders via the drop-down list that appeared whenever someone made or updated their Facebook profile [...]

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Kim Dotcom’s Mega is dropped by PayPal over end-to-end encryption, may adopt Bitcoin instead

Mega, the end-to-end encrypted cloud storage platform founded by mercurial entrepreneur and occasional outlaw Kim Dotcom, is back in the news. This time, the company’s primary adversary is PayPal, which earlier this week cancelled its payments processing contract. In a blog post on the news, Mega writes: Eventually PayPal made a non-negotiable decision to immediately [...]

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Twitter keeps Dick Costolo’s promise with new anti-harassment tools

Dick Costolo wasn’t kidding when he said Twitter would better handle abuse in the future. The company has introduced new features — one which allows its users to report when others are posting their personal information and another which requires trolls to verify their phone numbers or email addresses with the service — to address its [...]

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SF’s real income inequality issue isn’t hipsters priced out of homes — It’s the homeless

As the tech boom continues to bring more and more attention to San Francisco’s socioeconomic issues, a well-trod narrative has emerged: Tech companies have brought more and more upper-middle class workers to the Bay Area where housing — affordable or otherwise — has been limited by geographic and legislative pressures. Inevitably, already-high housing prices go up, while [...]

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Capping a big month for coffee startups, Blue Bottle Coffee acquires Perfect Coffee

The term “coffee startup” may sound like a punchline to Silicon Valley observers eager to call “bubble” at any investment that doesn’t involve self-driving cars or other world-beating technology. But don’t tell that to Blue Bottle Coffee. Just a week after crosstown rival Philz Coffee raised $15 million, the Oakland-based specialty coffee roaster has acquired the [...]

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Sesame Smart Lock

Sesame has an idiot-proof installation process. Just tape it over a deadbolt with the supplied adhesive and you’re done. You can then activate it with its app, by a secret knock on your door or phone, or simply by having your phone nearby. Hat Tip Link Link 2 Price: $89++ Continue Reading from the Source

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Join Cloudera founder and “Data God” Jeff Hammerbacher at our next San Francisco PandoMonthly

There are many reasons to be impressed by the next guest of PandoMonthly San Francisco, Jeff Hammerbacher. (If you don’t need the list, go here to get your $20 ticket now.) The first is that he cut his teeth as part of the very early Harvard/ Facebook mafia gang, that included a motley — but [...]

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Strange new legal complaint alleges that Google tried to steal employees’ lunch

Google has just been slapped with another class action wage-theft lawsuit complaint. Unlike previous successful wage theft filings, however, this complaining obtained by Pando, is oddly vague. The complaint, “Rosa Gutierrez v Google,” filed in the Santa Clara County Superior Court, alleges that the search engine giant violated a number of California labor laws governing lunch time, daytime breaks, overtime [...]

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Uber says it loves the military. So why is its auto-loan partner screwing over veterans?

Among the many themes at our 24-hour Don’t Be Awful event was that no company is 100 percent “good” or 100 percent “bad.” Take Uber. The transportation platform, under the leadership of Randian fratboy Travis Kalanick, has done plenty of awful things, from recklessly abusing its location tracking technology to promoting a sexist corporate culture to aspiring to smear unfriendly journalists like [...]

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Why do we watch “House of Cards”? Stay up with me tonight to find out as Season Three premieres

Most would agree that Netflix’s wildly popular series House of Cards — which premieres its third season at 3:00 AM tomorrow, Eastern Time — has garnered enough praise and accolades to be considered one of the greatest shows on “television.” And yet it doesn’t fit comfortably into the modern canon of great TV. It’s a smart political drama, but not half as [...]

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Twenty20 raises $8M, removes the velvet rope on its crowdsourced stock photo platform

Twenty20 has long hinted at ambitions to reshape the way stock photography is sourced. But for the better part of its three years in operation, the company has looked, at least from the outside, more like a photo enthusiasts community, akin to early Instagram or VSCO today. If only we could have seen this duck’s [...]

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Poetic justice: Revenge porn operator wants stories about his misdeeds to disappear from Google

Craig Brittain, the man behind a now-defunct revenge porn site, is finding out what it’s like to have private information and images proliferate on the Web without his consent. So now he’s asking Google to remove links to several pages — which include the press release announcing his settlement with the FTC and reports on his site’s downfall [...]

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